most reliable bmw

Ultimate Guide to 5 Most Reliable BMW




BMW has plenty of luxury cars in the inventory. But are they reliable? Which one should be your choice when searching for the most reliable BMW models?

The BMWs come with a high price tag. Anyway, luxury and expensiveness don’t automatically interpret as dependable. You still have to be careful if you want to get years of hassle-free driving experience and low maintenance expenses from your BMW vehicle.

How to Pick the Most Reliable BMW Model?




There’s a rule of thumb for ensuring the reliability of a vehicle. Avoid vehicles with a complex mechanism. The more sophisticated the mechanism and advanced the technologies, the faster they’re likely to fail than their simpler counterparts. Complex components break easily, and BMW repair and maintenance costs can be high. This’s true for not only BMWs but pretty much any car.



The simple rule for getting the most reliable BMW is to stick with the basic versions. The maintenance costs will be lower, repairs won’t be expensive, parts will be available, and you’ll get a good resale value.

Are BMWs Reliable?

BMWs are dependable, but Japanese cars have a better track record. Bimmer models are officially rated “average” by hobbyists and car magazines. Though the manufacturer promises long intervals between servicing, the fact is that their turbocharged models often have more issues than Japanese counterparts.

One of the most common repairs is thanks to the fact that BMW, as well as other European vehicle repairs, use plastic in place of more dependable materials for many parts. Another drawback is the complexity of the electronic system.

bmw reliability

New vs. Used BMW Models

BMW has evolved, just like any other car brand over time. They have changed so much that people sometimes think of newer model vehicles as a different auto brand ultimately. The older model 3 Series E36 and E46 were far more dependable in terms of cost of annual maintenance, and they were made to be driver-oriented. Even though a common complaint has always been that BMW puts plastic parts in its coolant system, including the older 3 Series.

It’s clear that BMWs certainly doesn’t make the most reliable cars, especially when considering more recent models. However, they do make top-notch performance vehicles, and most people that own or have owned them for a few years are satisfied.

are bmws reliable

Audi vs. Mercedes-Benz vs. BMW Reliability

So, how does the BMW fights for the market against its Deutsch counterparts, Mercedes and Audi? Not quite well, actually. In terms of dependability, both Audi and Mercedes scored higher than BMW, achieving above average. Though they all ranked the same in terms of overall performance and design. Still, it was in overall quality that the BMW excels, overshadowing both Mercedes and Audi with the highest ranking.

Should I Buy Used BMW?

BMWs used or not are great performers on the road. It doesn’t matter that you’re buying a second-hand vehicle, you’ll still enjoy an excellent performance. It’ll surprise you that your old Bimmer will be superior in performance to other new cars. Depending on your requirements, purchasing a used BMW is a great idea to acquire the best driving experience for years. Besides, the powerful internal machinery ensures that you may tackle any kind of road without any problem.

What is the Best Used BMW to Buy?

The vehicles listed below will last for years, with proper car maintenance. They have all modern, plushy features for creating comfort. Still, the repair and upkeep will be minimal since they have fewer electronic components and the sensors than a lot of sophisticated cars today.

Below is the list of the 5 most reliable used BMW models and engines.

1. 2006-2011 BMW 3 Series

After going through a redesign in 2006, the 3-Series was offered as sedan (E90), wagon (E91), coupe (E92), and convertible (E93). All could be purchased as either all-wheel drive or rear-wheel models.

Drivers prefer a naturally aspirated 3.0L inline-6 engine can opt for the 325i, 330i, and 328i. The 335i uses a 3.0L twin-turbo engine, more powerful than the other configurations, but also more prone to issues. The brand offered a diesel model, these days hard to find, with the 265-hp 3.0L turbodiesel in 2009. It scores 23/36 mpg, according to the EPA. But, the 3.0L 328i automatic using premium gasoline scores 18/28 mpg. On the U.S. used car market for BMWs, the model easiest to find is a 4 -door sedan with automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive, using gas.

2006-2011 BMW 3 Series

The 3-Series is known for its fancy interior and great styling. The seats are rated quite good for comfort, and the materials get excellent marks for quality. The one con is the slightly cramped quarters. This’s also true of the trunk in these BMWs.

Also, 3-Series did well in crash tests. It got 4 stars in front crash testing, and 5 stars for side crashes in the years 2006 – 2010. Reliability was more varied, but 328i for 2009 – 2011 achieves better than average ratings.

2. 2004 to 2010 BMW 5-Series (E60 and E61)

BMWs 5-Series line of vehicles is known for its high performance and ample luxury. The cars went through a significant redesign in 2004. The 525i, 530i, and 535 came with an inline-6 engine. Much less common, the 545i and 550i were offered with a V8 engine. The wagon had an all-wheel drive added as an option in 2006. A manual transmission, which isn’t typical among luxury vehicles, was offered with this series.

2004 to 2010 BMW 5-Series (E60 and E61)

The 5-Series for the 2008 – 2010, the only time that the government ran tests on these versions, did poorly with frontal crash tests, getting only 3 stars. Still, they rated 5 stars for side crashes. The 2010 535i GT achieved 19/28 mpg, placing it second in good fuel economy behind the Lexus GS 450 hybrid. But otherwise, the cars in this series aren’t inexpensive to operate.

When it comes to dependability, the series is average or below-average ratings for 2004 – 2010. The 2009 models got the lowest ratings. The basic issues were found in engines, power devices and electrical systems. The most common problems are leaks and electrical and engine issues. Main rivals to the 5-Series are the Mercedes E-class, which features a softer ride, and the Infiniti M-class and the Lexus LS, both with better reliability

3. 2002 to 2008 BMW 7-Series

If you’re buying for the biggest of BMWs luxury sedans, pick one of the models from the 7-Series. This still doesn’t keep them from depreciating quickly, though. Your best deal will come by selecting a model that is 6 to 8 years old, not 3 years old. The basic configuration will be the same, but the cost will drop greatly.

The BMW 7-Series models are rated below average. None of them went through NHTSA crash tests. Also, gas mileage is not high. For instance, the 20008 8-cylinder 750i receives 15/23 mpg, while the 2008 V12 760L1 gets 13/20 mpg.

2002 to 2008 BMW 7-Series

4. 2008-2011 BMW 1 Series

The 2008 – 2011 BMW 1 comes in two types – the E82 (two-door coupe) and the E88 (convertible). They use both the 128i and 135i names. The 1 Series features rear-wheel drive, and seats four, though two people must be ready for the minimal rear seating arrangement.

The 128i carries 230-hp 3.0L inline-6 engine. The 135i is very similar but runs a 300-hp twin-turbo 3.0L inline-6. Both weigh above 3,000 pounds, meaning the 300-hp can make high speeds. For example, the 135i can go from 0 to 60 in 4.7 seconds.

2008-2011 BMW 1 Series

Available with either a manual or an automatic transmission, the vehicle gets reasonable gas mileage. For instance, the 2009 128i coupe, both manual and automatic, has 18/28 mpg using premium gas, while the 135i scores 17/25 mpg.

5. 2006-2010 BMW X3

If you’re seeking for a reliable BMW SUV, the 2006-2010 X3 is probably your best option. It’s comfortable, rides very good and feels a lot faster than it actually is, while the great car suspension absorbs most of the road. You’re even looking at more than 22 mpg on average, which is quite good for a BMW SUV. Due to the infamous BMW depreciation, you can find a 2006 X3 for $7,000.

No vehicle is utterly reliable to the point where nothing ever goes wrong or breaks, it’s simply not possible. Still, you can do research and find a model that has less likelihood of breaking as others will. Thankfully its N52 has been around for a long time now, so a lot is known about it, and there won’t be many mysteries left. Which is always a useful thing when it comes to repairing engines.

2006-2010 BMW X3

What is the Most Reliable BMW Engine Today?

BMW has a long history of building marvelous cars and a long history of powering those vehicles with mighty engines. There isn’t just one route to a dependable engine, and the engineers at BMW have shown over the years that they’re adept at trying new things and experimenting with the technology.

Let’s take a look at the 5 best BMW engines on the market.

1. S65

When BMW decided the M3 got a V8, people were worried since the V6 engine was super dependable. However, the S65 V8 was an impressive engine. With 414hp and 8,450 redline, it became a #1 BMW engine among all auto enthusiasts. Its 414hp is a great number, but it isn’t the crucial one. Because the V8 that revs at nearly 9,000 rpm is a fantastic feature that every race car enthusiast will appreciate.

2. M88

The original M88 engine didn’t seem so special with four-valve heads, fuel injection, individual throttle bodies, and a single row timing chain. On the streets, this pretty conventional architecture was extraordinary. Smooth, powerful, and rev-laded, it made the first M5 a famous classic.

The M88 was one of the most used and enjoyable engines ever engineered. According to the car it was in, it made from 215 to 282hp and had a 6,500 rpm redline. The M88 underwent several versions, including being heavily modified to power the BMW M1.

3. M57

The M57 is a turbocharged inline and water-cooled 6-cylinder diesel engine with common-rail-injection. Together with the 4-cylinder M47, the M57 six is the engine that changed diesel power’s image. Torque-loaded, smooth-revving, and gasoline are equaling performance. High-pressure fuel injection and variable incidence turbos delivered the fabulous torque and economy with a smoothness and refinement never before experienced in diesel engines.

bmw engines

4. N54

For more than three decades, BMW refused to fit turbochargers to its production models (apart from a European version of the first 7 Series – 745i). Then, in the mid-’00s, the twin-turbocharged N54 engine (first packaged in the BMW 335i) came – and it revolutionized the automotive world with its mix of economy and performance. While both the 335i and M3 made an equal torque and gave it the ability to run head-to-head and sometimes even out-accelerate its muscled 4.0-liter V8 cousin.

5. N57

Initially made to power the all-wheel-drive M550d derivative of the previous-generation F10 5 Series, the audacious 3.0-liter straight-6 turbodiesel made its local appearance beneath the pumped-up bonnets of the previous-generation X5 (and current X6). The best way to describe it is a masterpiece in the diesel engine world.

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